Whether you read it or missed the post, I wrote a blog reflecting my leaving social media after the first month or so of being completely unplugged. The entire time I was off of social media was absolutely incredible, and from the beginning, I genuinely had no plans of looking back — but of course, here I am! So let me catch you up:
When I first started limiting my social media usage, I was just trying to avoid all of the negative impacts it can bring (in my opinion, there are many). Eventually, this became a permanent absence of the online world altogether, and I loved every minute of it.
I lived for me, without the thought of needing to post a photo as evidence.
I befriended more strangers than ever before. Where I used to pull out my phone to avoid small talk, I no longer had a shield. I actually think I became friendlier.
I stopped comparing myself to millions of others. Instead, I compared myself to my own expectations, wants, desires, what I thought was best and what I felt was right for me. My job. My body. My social life. My habits. My faith.
I read 14 books.
I became more productive than ever before. I became more aware of how much less productive I used to be as a byproduct of watching others. People truly spend vast amounts of time that they do not know they are spending, in a trance, scrolling through social media. Which, actually was kind of concerning!
I slept better.
I was more in the moment, in all moments. Another byproduct of being off? Noticing people not be in the moment, or even notice what is going on around them. I’m talking funny things, like people tripping in public and I was the only one who saw. Or serious things, like children desperately trying to get the attention of their parents who are more focused on Facebook or Instagram.
The list goes on and on, but that’s not the point. The point is, if being away from social media enhanced my life so much, why am I coming back? Honestly, this list does not go on and on. There are only two reasons I want to come back, but they’re weighing heavy enough on me that it just had to happen!
First and foremost, when I left social media in the beginning of 2017, I never would have pictured myself moving halfway across the country before the year came to a close. One of the main reasons I left was to connect more to the people around me that I loved. Now that I’m so far away from most of those people, I don’t have ANY way of connecting with them at all outside of technology.
Social media is so powerfully positive in that it “connects” people that don’t have the luxury (because now I understand it truly is a luxury) to actually connect, IRL. Now that I’m living a minimum of 8 hours away from most of my best people, I am wishing so badly I could be more tuned in to their lives! Chatting once or twice a week on the phone, texting, FaceTiming… all of that is wonderful, but why stop there when I don’t have to?
Secondly, I have fallen in love with my job. Jumping into the marketing and communications avenue of the travel industry, all while learning the business/how to plan trips and lifelong memories for people has filled my heart with such happiness. Had I known that I would be led to this career prior to my leaving social media, I’m not sure that I ever would have been able to justify leaving.
If you’re considering some sort of leave from social media, I 1000% recommend it. I understand that not all people have any sort of issue with the use of social media. But others, whether they want to admit it or not, do. Internet and social media addiction is a very real thing. I’m not saying I was an addict, because I wasn’t. But I was able to recognize negative side effects, and decided to deal with them the best way I knew how. This sabbatical away from social media was a breath of fresh air. And now, as I make my way back after this little social experiment (if you will), I feel more equip and aware to avoid the negative moving forward.
So anyways, y’all… New profile, who dis? @bailiewhite_